100 North Main Street
O'Fallon, MO 63366
Phone: 636-379-5532
Email: [email protected]

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Business Spotlight: Nekter Juice Bar

Pursuing a franchise opportunity is no easy feat. There’s a lot to consider when starting your own business, and opening a franchise is no different. From selecting a business that aligns with your passions to navigating corporate-franchisee relationships, there’s much to consider. To shed light on this process, we sat down with franchisee Jack McDaniel of Nekter Juice Bar, to help aspiring franchisees navigate this journey to business success.

Nekter Juice Bar Franchisee Jack McDaniel

Tell us about your career background – why did you become a franchisee?

I’m a St. Louis native and since 1993, I’ve worked in several management positions including Walmart, Party City, Linens ‘N Things and US Bank. I also worked in human resources management at Express Scripts for nearly eight years. My background in retail, human resources, and management has provided me with the tools to start my own business. After working in many different capacities, I saw how beneficial starting my own business could be. My curiosity to do something different from my past work experience led me to my search to open a franchise of my own. While not necessary, having a diverse career background with experience in many different work environments gave me the tools to successfully open a franchise.

How did you choose a franchise?

I reviewed many franchise options across industries, narrowing my interests down to coffee, sushi, and of course, smoothies, while also taking franchise growth, demographics and success into consideration. I did a lot of research before settling on Nekter. When narrowing down options, I spoke with other franchisees and networked with others in the industry to understand what challenges they experienced or opportunities they utilized.

What stood out about Nekter was its unique plant-based juice bar experience unlike any other in the St. Louis region. A California-based juice bar franchise founded in 2010, Nekter has also been one of the fastest-growing franchises that appeal to all ages. I saw that the franchise was growing exponentially and that this unique health-focused food retail concept was what this region was missing.

How did you pick your franchise location? Why did you choose O’Fallon for your franchise?

O’Fallon is one of the fastest growing communities in St. Louis, and as a resident of this city, I already knew this area had a great quality of life. While the franchisor assisted in picking this location, I also researched median income and demographics and considered several factors before ultimately picking our Highway K retail space.

Being new to this market, we wanted to create brand recognition and that was only made possible because we found a space with good visibility and accessibility. O’Fallon’s excellent visibility and convenience made 2436 Highway K the perfect storefront for Nekter Juice Bar.

We also looked at what businesses were around us. Surrounding Nekter are long-standing tenants or tenants that bring in lots of business from the immediate area.

Another big decision maker was that there really is nothing else like Nekter Juice Bar in the St. Louis region. We exclusively offer plant-based smoothies, freshly squeezed juices, acai bowls, a juice cleanse and healthy plant-based snacks – all in one location. This concept is certainly a first for O’Fallon and is also unique to the entire St. Louis region.

How involved was the site selection, building and construction process?

I worked closely with the franchisor during the initial site selection process, as well as with the City of O’Fallon. Both the franchisor and the City were able to assist during the bidding process and made sure everything went as smoothly as possible. The SelectOFALLON team was there to provide available sites that fit Nekter’s business model. I’d definitely recommend leaning on the SelectOFALLON team to guide you through the building permit process.

As soon as we picked our location on Highway K, I also joined the O’Fallon Chamber of Commerce to get to know other thriving business owners and franchisees in the City. Leading up to our grand opening, the Chamber and the SelectOFALLON team were there as resources to assist.

What strategies did you use to promote your franchise?

I utilized the marketing resources provided by the franchisor and created goals for my first year in business. Over the past year and a half, we’ve made an effort to share our marketing materials at local events and create partnerships with local businesses connected to health, convenience and even fitness. Our team has stopped by more than 250 O’Fallon businesses to share samples of our smoothies, juices and healthy snacks with those who may not know about us just yet. I’d suggest that a first-time franchisee set goals like this to increase visibility and build connections to the surrounding community.

We also took advantage of the City of O’Fallon’s marketing resources. The team helped us create a free promotional video of our business featured on their YouTube channel, O’Fallon TV. We still reshare this video on our social media channels. Additionally, because many of our team members are in high school and college, they’re constantly developing creative content to share on our Facebook and Instagram accounts.

We have no plans to slow down. Nekter’s O’Fallon location is just one of two open in the St. Louis region, the other location opened earlier this year in St. Charles. Our team plans to open a third location in 2025. Being a franchisee is all about embracing the challenges and the unknowns along the way, but it’s rewarding when you find something you are truly passionate about.